SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It is an opportunity for the area’s unemployed and manufacturing businesses looking to hire. Governor Deval Patrick came to Springfield to announce a new 10-week training program that will help people qualify for entry-level manufacturing jobs.
Good news for the area’s unemployed. “It’s been a struggle, I mean it’s really hard out there, I’ve gone to many different places and haven’t found much,” said Springfield’s Anna Rodriguez.
Program organizers say there’s a growing demand for workers right now because they not only want to replace who people who are retiring, they also want to expand the industry as a whole.
“Companies such as Smith and Wesson, I believe they’re looking somewhere in the range of 400 employees over the next 4 or 5 years, so they’re looking for some entry-level workers,” said John LaFrancis, STCC Mechanical Engineering.
Eighteen people are already going through a pilot program. Springfield’s Tregg Barney says in just three weeks, he’s already learned a lot. “I’m learning a lot of different things, we’re doing a lot of hands-on stuff, we’re learning a lot of life skills as well as how things work in the machine operating field,” Barney said.
It’s a joint program offered at Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College. The Patrick Administration estimates the manufacturing industry in our state will fill 100 thousand jobs over the next decade.